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AERO Honors Sustainable Energy Advocates

Posted on: December 5, 2011

Helena-based Alternative Energy Resources Organization (AERO) recently presented four agriculture and energy awards to honor innovators in the sustainable energy and agriculture community. The Sustainable Energy Award (Innovator Category) went to Billings Architect Ed Gulick in acknowledgement of his efforts and accomplishments in advancing energy efficiency and renewable energy in buildings in Montana. Another Sustainable Energy Award, this time for the Instigator Category, went to Lawrence Gallagher for his “steadfast support and advocacy for energy efficiency and conservation within HUD and at numerous public meetings around the state.”

Read more about all the honorees at

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Report: Clean Energy Future Would Lower Montana's Energy Costs

Posted on: November 28, 2011

If the U.S. adopts a long-term energy strategy that relies on energy efficiency and renewable energy resources, rather than coal-fired electricity, Montanans would likely see lower electricity costs by 2020, according to a new report from Synapse Energy Economics. Prepared for the Civil Society Institute, Toward a Sustainable Future for the U.S. Power Sector: Beyond Business as Usual 2011, concludes that transitioning to clean energy would save some $83 billion over the next 40 years. In addition, say its authors, the plan would create 3.1 million “job-years” through the construction and operation of clean power generation - the equivalent of 310,000 people employed for an entire decade.

The full report can be accessed here:

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DNRC Announces Biomass Project Funding

Posted on: November 22, 2011

The Montana Department of Natural Resources & Conservation (DNRC) is requesting applications for three Woody Biomass Utilization Grants. The first is a project planning grant for the areas surrounding Butte, Helena, Bozeman, and Whitefish. The second is a feasibility assessment grant, and the third is for a first-year fuel purchase grant. First round application deadlines range from December 2, 2011, through February 7, 2012. Full application details are available at via this link:

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NCAT Recruiting Participants for Wind for Schools Program

Posted on: November 17, 2011

The National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT) is recruiting K-12 schools in Montana interested in participating in the Montana Wind for Schools project. The project’s goal is to promote wind energy education at rural elementary and secondary schools. Schools chosen to participate (“host schools”) install small wind turbines on-site. To maximize the learning potential of the turbines, teacher training and hands-on curricula are implemented at host schools, allowing interactive and interschool wind-related education. Host schools also gain access to technical assistance, project Web sites, and other useful information and resources.

Host school will be selected based on criteria such as the school’s ability to meet program requirements, identification of support from the school and community, and the potential for fundraising.

To learn more about the project and application process, see Montana Wind for Schools Program Host School Partnership Opportunities at

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DOE Finalizes Loan Guarantee to Support World's Largest Wind Project

Posted on: December 20, 2010

U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu today announced that a partial loan guarantee for a $1.3 billion loan has been finalized to support the world’s largest wind farm. The loan will finance the Caithness Shepherds Flat project, an 845-megawatt wind generation facility located in eastern Oregon sponsored by Caithness Energy, LLC and GE Energy Financial Services. According to company estimates, the project will directly employ 400 workers during construction and 35 workers during operation. The company projects the wind farm will avoid over 1.2 million tons of carbon dioxide per year, equivalent to the amount of carbon dioxide from approximately 200,000 passenger vehicles.  Read more.

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